A farm labourer died due to cardiac arrest during ongoing indefinite protest of farmers outside mini secretariat on Friday.
The deceased has been identified as Ralla Singh, a resident of Dodra village in Mansa. He was sitting on the protest round the clock since June 5.
The matter came to light when the other farmers found him dead about 5am in the morning.
The farmers are demanding government to waive farmer loans, besides failure of government to put an end to farm suicides.
Shingara Singh Mann, district president of Bhartiya kisan union (ugarahan), said deceased Ralla Singh was landless labourer and had debt of Rs 80,000.
“The union has decided to declare him martyr as he died fighting for farmer fraternity. The government has completely turned blind eye towards farmers and labourers and Rall’s death stood testimony to it,’’ Mann said.
However, the union demanded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh and a government job for a family member of deceased.
Mann said they have also handed over memorandum regarding their demand to district administration.
Among other demands, the union is demanding to stop auctioning properties of debt-ridden farmers, Rs 3-lakh compensation to families of farmers and government job to one of the kin of the farmer, who committed suicide, post-2010 suicide survey and tubewell connections to those having less than 2.5 acres of farmland, withdrawal of the Prevention of Damage to Public and Private Property act.
This was not for the first time a protester had died during farmers’ protest, as on September 24 last year, Kuldeep Singh (26), a farmer from Chughe Kalan village in Bathinda district, committed suicide by consuming poisonous substance.